Butanediol Prices Overview

Market Overview

Quarterly Update on Global Butanediol (BDO) Market
For the Quarter Ending September 2020
During Q3, BDO supply across Asia was stable after maintenance turnarounds ended in China. However, comparatively reduced run rates maintained the overall supply tightness. BDO prices witnessed an increment in September after persistent stability in July and August on the back of tight supply and robust demand. Cargoes in China were heard trading at around USD 1150/tonne in early August. Disruption in logistics in the Xinjiang region, which accounts for more than 40% of China’s total BDO capacity, continued to hamper supply from late July to August. The news of closure of BASF Idemitsu Co. Ltd.’s (BIC) facility at Chiba, Japan in Dec. 2020 further pressured the supply side. Producer’s margins took a big leap after the three major downstream sectors - polybutylene terephthalate (PBT), polytetramethylene ether glycol (PTMEG) and gamma-butyrolactone (GBL) showed volume growth. Q3 end with optimism that the demand is expected to continue improving in the fourth quarter, as restocking of end-products, particularly in Asia and Europe is likely to boost the consumption of BDO.
North America
BDO players reported upside potential looking at the buoyant demand and sufficient supply in the region. Buyers agreed that since the product availability has reduced compared to Q2 levels, prices have reported a marginal uptick. Demand stayed way below the last year’s levels, pressuring the overall margins that have long stayed unfavorable due to mulling sluggishness over the automotive sector. Traders anticipate that BDO supply is likely to stay intact despite the news of Lycra’s Texas plant turning non-operational by the year end creating a buzz in the regional market. However, players sense that imports from Asia should be available to bridge any demand-supply gaps in the near-to-long term.

BDO supply remained tight in Q3 due to production outages heard at a leading producer’s facility during September backed by lesser imports from Asia. Market sources were pointing at the considerable increases in spot pricing due to the changing demand fundamentals. Demand started gaining momentum after August due to raised sentiments from the downstream polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) manufacturers who further reported greater enquiries by the automotive producers. Regional demand for PBT shot up in Q3 with a producer reporting 45% increase in demand in September on month-on-month basis. Resumption in downstream operations triggered active restocking during September resulting in greater need for BDO derivatives. Players, however maintained a cautious over the influence of demand fundamentals and prevailing supply constraints, thereby maintaining the price range around USD 2015/tonne in the final weeks of September.

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ChemAnalyst gathers information through primary research surveys conducted with various Butanediol (BDO) manufacturers, spread across the domestic and international market, suppliers and dealers/distributors to gain insights into value-chains and demand-supply scenario to assess the market situation. Thorough study of company’s annual reports and secondary sources such as exhaustive search on credible paid databases, including our internal database is done to verify the information. All the collected information is analyzed, evaluated and presented in chronological order to depict a meaningful and clear picture of the concerned market.
Our dedicated team of industry experts comprehensively monitors and analyzes various aspects of the Global Butadiene market. The team analyzes various industrial segments, strategic viewpoints and provides an analysis of the industry’s performance in the long run. This would enable our clients in efficiently plan their future investments, mitigate risk, understand the cost dynamics and strike out a balance amidst market volatility.
Critical examination of the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the global supply chains and shift in demand patterns with change in buying behavior of consumers across the globe.
Several ongoing development projects across industries are tracked, followed by the details of major projects in the development stage, which can positively or negatively influence Global Butanediol (BDO) market.
Pricing is captured through exhaustive primary interviews with domestic and international manufacturers, traders and importers and customers on monthly and yearly basis.
Finally, region-specific markets for Butanediol (BDO) are analyzed and region-wise demand pattern is tracked.


1,4-Butanediol (BDO) is a straight chain glycol possessing hydroxyl groups on both the ends. versatile diol precursor to numerous derivatives such as esters, carbamates, polyesters and urethanes. It is commonly used as a starting material for high performance polyester and polyurethane resins and for several industrial chemicals like tetrahydrofuran (THF) which is used to make spandex fibers and other specialty polymers, polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) resins for engineering plastics and gamma-butyrolactone (GBL) which has demand in electronics and high-performance polymers. The largest consumer of BDO is tetrahydrofuran, which is further utilized to produce polytetramethylene ether glycol (PTMEG), a key feedstock to produce spandex fibers, copolyester ethers & urethane elastomers. THF is also a widely used solvent in the pharmaceutical industry. The second major end-users are the polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) manufacturers. Other BDO applications include cosmetics, pesticides, hardeners, artificial leather and plasticizers. There are several methods of BDO production known worldwide. The first commercial route to BDO was the Reppe synthesis which involved the reaction of Formaldehyde with Acetylene followed by hydrogenation to produce BDO. The Reppe process is particularly popular in China which is heavily investing in utilizing its coal reserves for synthesizing chemicals. Other processes include Butadiene-based process, Maleic Anhydride-based process, Propylene-based process etc. The global 1,4-Butanediol industry is investing heavily in the production of bio-based BDO that is synthesized from sustainable sources.